The Goldfinch

The Goldfinch

by Donna Tartt
3.5 962


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The Goldfinch: A Novel 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 962 reviews.
Humbee More than 1 year ago
Any book of Donna Tartt's is like a miracle of reading. She is the closest thing to reading a Dickens sort of novel today with its density of characters and storyline, mysteries and details of the most minute and miracles of writing. To read one of her books is to experience a travel that's like no other. Reading "The Goldfinch" is like that. It's her best effort thus far, I think. It's simply the most amazing. And, that doesn't mean I don't think you should read her other two books! I found myself jumping up several times in glee and forcing my husband just to listen to small descriptions of the otherwise mundane in this novel. She writes so beautifully that the union suit of a miner hanging on a bathroom shower curtain becomes iconic and gorgeous! It actually is so real, it lives and breathes!! Amazing you can imagine how the rest of her story comes to life. The repair and care of antique furniture becomes so precious and such an act of love, it reaches your soul. Tartt's characters are to love, hate, to sympathize with, to disparage, to want to reach out for. They are pitiful, disgusting, harmful, harmless and worthy of your most tender feelings. She runs the gamut. You become fully's impossible not to. They are so alive. This is a story about relationships of all kinds: parenting, friendship, love. There's fear and selfishness and other emotions from basic relationships. It's a story of redemption and finding ones place in the world. It's an exploration of the world from many sides of life. I will admit there is so much to take in in this novel that I couldn't just sit down and read it fast like some books. I had to take it in parcels. I wanted to savor the words and the journey of its characters, particularly the primary one, Theo. I've always felt that way about Tartt's books. They are the kind you don't want to finish quickly because when you do, they'll be all gone! I hate to turn the last page. I would welcome you on this journey of a special read. It's unusual. It's one that will charm you and touch your heart. It will cause you to stop and smile, laugh, cry out in surprise, feel hurt and even offended for the characters. I'd be very surprised if you don't love it as much as I have. Donna Tartt is a genius author of our times. Not to read her is like not reading Joyce Carol Oates.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I usually don't write reviews, but the greatness of this book demands it. It is filled with utter beauty. I did not want this book to end. You would be missing a great work of art by not reading THE GOLDFINCH.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've purchase 174 books since buying my NOOK. Thi is the first time I've felt compelled to add a comment about one of my purchases. If “brevity is the soul of wit,” as Shakespeare wrote, then Donna Tartt is unfamiliar with the concept. At times, it was excruciating to slog through this drivel; I stopped reading it three times out of sheer frustration and boredom. While certainly well written, the book is at least 300 pages too long. It reminded me of a person in love with their own speaking voice. Noteworthy only for its banal details and the unlikeable main character, I can not recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the story of who boy who suffers a tragedy that sets his life off into a downhill spiral of self destructive behavior. This self destructive behavior goes on, in tedious detail, for 700 pages. Then in the last 50 pages he "sort of" redeems himself. But in the end he's still a miserable soul. I hate to quit a book in the middle so i just kept plugging alond, hoping it would get better but it never did. I read all the way to the end. What a waste of time! This miserable story could have been told in half as many pages.
BrandieC More than 1 year ago
2.5 stars Having truly enjoyed The Secret History and The Little Friend, I was really looking forward to The Goldfinch. Unfortunately, it did not live up to my expectations. There's no denying that Tartt writes beautifully. However, there's an old saying that I think is particularly apt here: "She was talking just to hear herself talk." This sums up how I felt about The Goldfinch; Tartt was talking, but there was no real substance. With the exception of the opening scene in the museum, nothing that happened to Theo drew me in, and, as the book progressed, I found myself disliking him more and more. I would have liked to see more of Pippa, but even she seemed to be just a prop on which Theo could hang his unrequited love. The painting also played very little role in the story, making it seem as though it was just scaffolding meant to hold the whole mess together. By the end, when Tartt sank into maudlin sentiment, all I could do was wish for the end to come quickly. I would have given The Goldfinch 2 stars for its "plot"; only the quality of Tartt's writing earned it the additional half-star.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked the concept of this book. I was drawn in to the story quickly, but by 250 pages I was longing for the pace to pick up. The interaction between characters was interesting, but the long, drawn out and very redundant self reflections got old very quick. After hearing such good things about this novel, I was determined to finish. Unfortunately, it never really got better for me. The last ten pages were like torture, and I confess I barely skimmed them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved her first book but this was a victim of self indulgence and terrible editing
Ronniedean More than 1 year ago
I could not stand this book. I found it so long...drawn out....depressing...I love mysteries and action....John Sandford.....Nelson DeMille...Linda Firstein....Richard North Patterson...Vince Flynn.....I guess I thought I would enjoy a change but I was so disappointed. I guess I am the only one but just had to let the readers know...sorry. I know a lot of people love her. Sallie Gutman
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Reminiscent of Salinger, Dickens, Dostoyevsky with a dose of Hunter S. Thompson. Think I'm crazy? Read this and you might agree with me. Wow!
XXXOOOBookwormOOOXXX More than 1 year ago
I had been affected by the experience of reading The Goldfinch, in the opening chapters of which a great tragedy happens there. The book is compelling and moving. Tartt is a master of foreshadowing, letting us know just enough of what is to come that we feel helpless to put down the book. I found myself staying up late for several nights, turning page after page to connect the dots. This book is every bit the equal of The Secret History in this regard. And it exceeds that earlier book in its great emotional depth. The opening section, in New York City, is terribly sad and in the hands of a lesser author this material would be difficult to get past. However, Tartt has signaled us well enough about the future of our protagonist, Theodore Dekker, that we stick with him. And from the second section of the book, while we have no shortage of continuing misery, it is tempered by hope or humor. The brilliant opening section immediately kept me engaged--I think the explosion and Theo's experience and recovery is some of the best writing I've read in years. The great thing about this book is that you can set it aside for a few days and pick it up again and not be "lost"--the writing and characters are that strong. The "plot" on the other hand seems to grow thinner and less important as you head down the last 200 plus pages as "big issues" are thoughtfully woven in. Some parts of the book even recall The Maltese Falcon, though the book treats its namesake artwork as more than merely a MacGuffin. Others will find different precedents, I'm sure. This book is long and rich.     
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If I could give a lower rating this book deserves it. Sunday comics have more plot and character development.
Kbeck More than 1 year ago
Came with such a glowing review ?  I just never got hooked .
Acton More than 1 year ago
Donna Tartt's latest novel is stunning and breathtaking. I don't know where to begin. I picked this up because I loved The Secret History, and lo! This one is even more impressively written. If you are planning to read this, I hope no one spoils any of the plot for you, because really, things keep happening and it's all riveting, and along the way, we learn about an artist most of us had never heard of before, meet some wonderful and unusual people, and come to care--and worry--very much about Theo. I will definitely be reading parts of this again...what can I say? It was awesome.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a truly fantastic and gripping book. In top 3 of 2013.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Iam not someone who say's things like that lightly.In fact I have never said it before about a book. But please read this not let the fact it is 756 pages stop you it is worth every minute spent reading it. You will become lost in a life that is worth knowing.....and now that I am finished reading I feel a little lost
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow. This story grabs you and doesn't let go. It is suspenseful, heart wrenching, funny, horrifying...and entirely imaginable. My only criticism is that it may go on a bit too long.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I almost allowed the negative reviews to keep me away from this treasure of a novel. I am so glad I decided to read and judge this book for myself. Well written and exciting I loved every minute of this book. I can not wait to read her two other books. This is definitely my must read of 2014. It will be pretty tough to beat.
MikeS More than 1 year ago
The author has a very good writing style which kept me going through the first half of the book while it wended its way through adventure and plot turns. You couldn't figure out where the book was going, a trait retained through the end. But after awhile, as the events unfolded, it became more of a discourse on drug use as one unlikely event was placed on top of another. The last 150 pages or so were read to find out how the book would end, having invested over 600 pages of reading by then. And the conclusion, filled with its philosophical discussions came as a disappointment when compared to the events that occupied the first half of the book. It wasn't a bad read, and its style held through to the end. But the unfolding of the plot dampened the result. It is a long read, a well written read, but in the end not a satisfying one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To all those who say the book was too long and laborious I have to ask: Do you really love to read? No, this novel was not a quick easy read. It was epic, the writing was superb and beautiful. Expressive and engrossing. The Pulitzer Prize was very well deserved. I have just finished, and my mind is buzzing. Lots to think about, many vivid characters and situations. Really an excellemt book, I couldn't put it down. But please, if you are not a reader, then skip this one. It will be too long and difficult-spare yourself the frustration. For those true readers out there, though, you are in for a treat. I loved it!
Judeela More than 1 year ago
I can't say enough wonderful things about this will get all the trite remarks out of the way first. Couldn't put it down. Didn't want it to end. Couldn't wait to see how it all played out. The best book I've read in ten, or more, years. At first, I was a bit leery about reading an 850 page book. In fact, I originally had it, as an ebook, from the library and let it languish, unread, on my bookshelf. Consequently, once I did start, I only had five days to finish...and ended up purchasing it. I was there with the rain of the heat of Las the cold of Amsterdam. I could smell the turpentine in Hobie's "shop behind the shop."...feel the emptiness of Theo's Las Vegas neighborhood...need the isolation of a hotel room in Amsterdam. Hobie and Boris are two of the best characters to come along in years. Theo's friendship with, dependence on, two such diametrically opposed cohorts...on paper...just doesn't seem as if it will work...but it does...magnificently so. It seems we live in a world of book trilogies. The Goldfinch could easily have been one. I'm just so happy it wasn't...that I got to spend an uninterrupted span of time living this story right beside Theo. This is truly one of the best books I've read in ten or more years. Oh...and love the cover!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Someone should tell Ms. Tartt that not every sentence that pops into her head needs to be put to paper. This moderately interesting story could have been told in half the pages. One of the biggest problems for me is that the narrator, aside from rambling through 775 pages, is not likable at all. He allows himself to become a victim of his situation and wallows through the rest of  his life. I finished it because I had to see if there was some redemption (for the narrator, the novel, etc.) somewhere. There isn't. I have no clue as to why this book has been so well reviewed. 
ehg1001 More than 1 year ago
Didn't know when I purchased this book that it was so long. At this point I am not finished with it yet. However, it is a compelling story. I look forward every evening to reading it. I am pushed to see how it will end, but I also want to know the daily life of the main character, Theo.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Exceedingly long winded and pointless.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I do not know how this book ever won the Pulitzer prize for fiction. I am an avid reader and have read hundreds of books, and this was the worst book ever. Too long at 784 pages,(half that might have been okay), repetitive, and no likeable characters, except for the young girl and her uncle. I read the entire book hoping it would get better, or have a redeeming lesson, but it never did. Wasted hours that I shall never get back in my life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of those books that will re-enter the mind of the reader months after finishing it. The story is essentially sad. It can be a bit difficult to wade through. It takes a long time and numerous misadventures for these main characters to mature and resolve their positions, but, stick with it! The end result it so very worth it! The Goldfinch is one of the best books I have ever read!